The U.S. has invested billions of dollars to train the best military in the world, yet the unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans hovers around 10%, nearly 3% higher than the national average. Many U.S. Veterans are un- or underemployed, in jobs that don’t truly speak to the military skills and experiences they were trained to utilize. Many more have a continuing desire to serve others, and would benefit profoundly from the opportunity to do that in another capacity—one that would save lives.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of elephants — an average of 96 every day — are being slaughtered to meet a new and extraordinary demand for ivory . The poaching crisis in East Africa is pushing elephants and rhinos to the very brink of extinction. These iconic, ancient species will be gone within the next decade. Game rangers and their communities are overpowered by sophisticated, well-armed poachers, who are often funded by terrorist organizations.
Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife provides meaningful employment to post-9/11 veterans, utilizing their expertise to train and support Tanzanian anti-poaching efforts and prevent the extermination of keystone African wildlife, and the disastrous economic and environmental impact it would have.